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post #1 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Is my 5.1 Surround Sound System Configured Wrong??

Hi guys! First off thanks again for having me in this forum, I'm somewhat of a n00b when it comes to this stuff so thank you in advance for the advice and help, with all this free time on my hands I'm looking for ways to tweak and improve my home surround sound speaker setup. I currently have a 5.1 surround sound system consisting of:

-5 x B&W M-1 speakers (left/right/center/rear left/rear right)
-1 x B&W ASW 700 subwoofer
- Sunfire Ultimate Receiver

I'm not sure if I have the rear speakers plugged in to the correct outputs on my receiver. The Ultimate Receiver is a 7.1 receiver and on the back for speaker outputs it has center, left, right, and then "right surround" and "left surround" and also "right surround back" and "left surround back". I have 2 of these B&W M1 speakers positioned in the rear left and rear right side of my living room so I wired them in the "right surround back" and "left surround back" outputs on the receiver and could not get a signal after trying several 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound tests on youtube, but when I plugged them into "right surround" and "left surround" outputs they worked fine. Is this the wrong output though? I just figured because they are physically in the back of the room they should be plugged into the "right surround back" and "left surround back" outputs on the receiver. If anyone can help would be greatly appreciated.

Also unrelated, I know this probably not the best method but I used a simple measuring tape for distance calibration on the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver menu/setup screen and I just changed my subwoofer crossover to 100hz, it was at 80hz before. Should I use software and a mic or do anything else? I used to have Audyssey with a cheaper receiver and def tech speakers before this and calibration literally changed everything for the better. Hoping to dial this system in to near perfection if possible.

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post #2 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by higuys View Post
Hi guys! First off thanks again for having me in this forum, I'm somewhat of a n00b when it comes to this stuff so thank you in advance for the advice and help, with all this free time on my hands I'm looking for ways to tweak and improve my home surround sound speaker setup. I currently have a 5.1 surround sound system consisting of:

-5 x B&W M-1 speakers (left/right/center/rear left/rear right)
-1 x B&W ASW 700 subwoofer
- Sunfire Ultimate Receiver

I'm not sure if I have the rear speakers plugged in to the correct outputs on my receiver. The Ultimate Receiver is a 7.1 receiver and on the back for speaker outputs it has center, left, right, and then "right surround" and "left surround" and also "right surround back" and "left surround back". I have 2 of these B&W M1 speakers positioned in the rear left and rear right side of my living room so I wired them in the "right surround back" and "left surround back" outputs on the receiver and could not get a signal after trying several 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound tests on youtube, but when I plugged them into "right surround" and "left surround" outputs they worked fine. Is this the wrong output though? I just figured because they are physically in the back of the room they should be plugged into the "right surround back" and "left surround back" outputs on the receiver. If anyone can help would be greatly appreciated.

Also unrelated, I know this probably not the best method but I used a simple measuring tape for distance calibration on the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver menu/setup screen and I just changed my subwoofer crossover to 100hz, it was at 80hz before. Should I use software and a mic or do anything else? I used to have Audyssey with a cheaper receiver and def tech speakers before this and calibration literally changed everything for the better. Hoping to dial this system in to near perfection if possible.
The two speakers you have designated for your surrounds connect to the left/right surround connection on the receiver. The back surround connections are for 7.1.

For crossover settings, I would put the M-1s at about 90Hz or 100Hz. Their Frequency Response specs only cites a -/+6dB range in order to make it seem like they dig deeper. The more accurate -/+3dB would probably be closer to 70-80Hz, but that's a guess. I would go with 100Hz to be "safe." The subwoofer set to 120Hz in the receiver, and turn the frequency knob on the back of the sub to its max.

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post #3 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The two speakers you have designated for your surrounds connect to the left/right surround connection on the receiver. The back surround connections are for 7.1.

For crossover settings, I would put the M-1s at about 90Hz or 100Hz. Their Frequency Response specs only cites a -/+6dB range in order to make it seem like they dig deeper. The more accurate -/+3dB would probably be closer to 70-80Hz, but that's a guess. I would go with 100Hz to be "safe." The subwoofer set to 120Hz in the receiver, and turn the frequency knob on the back of the sub to its max.
Hey Ryan, thanks for info! Ok so leaving the rear surround speakers alone/plugged into surround left/surround right. The Ultimate Receiver let's me adjust "speakers crossover" so I set that to 100 HZ. The subwoofer I can't find a place to change the crossover setting in the actual receiver menu but there is a knob on the back that goes all the way up to 140HZ. I had it at 80HZ before and turned it up to 100HZ. So Should I really go to 140HZ or is 120HZ ok?? Are there any good reference videos or sound tests I can do to listen to the settings and their differences? Thanks again for the info!

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post #4 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by higuys View Post
Hey Ryan, thanks for info! Ok so leaving the rear surround speakers alone/plugged into surround left/surround right. The Ultimate Receiver let's me adjust "speakers crossover" so I set that to 100 HZ. The subwoofer I can't find a place to change the crossover setting in the actual receiver menu but there is a knob on the back that goes all the way up to 140HZ. I had it at 80HZ before and turned it up to 100HZ. So Should I really go to 140HZ or is 120HZ ok?? Are there any good reference videos or sound tests I can do to listen to the settings and their differences? Thanks again for the info!
Subwoofer "crossover" could be under LFE in the receiver? If not, then it probably sets the same thing for all speakers, including the subwoofer in the "speaker crossover" section in the menu. Not ideal, but it's what you have to work with. I *think* leave the knob at 140, but have the low pass frequency switch on the sub set to "out." I'm not wholly familiar with that particular receiver, so it's a bit of a guess.

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post #5 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Subwoofer "crossover" could be under LFE in the receiver? If not, then it probably sets the same thing for all speakers, including the subwoofer in the "speaker crossover" section in the menu. Not ideal, but it's what you have to work with. I *think* leave the knob at 140, but have the low pass frequency switch on the sub set to "out." I'm not wholly familiar with that particular receiver, so it's a bit of a guess.
Ok looks like I misunderstood the Crossover section in the speaker menu, it actually is the crossover for the subwoofer, here is what it says from the manual.

There is another menu where you adjust or set the "Speaker Size". If you select "small" it also uses the above crossover frequency mentioned above for the other speakers as well. So I guess the crossover is both from the subwoofer and the speakers.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I just moved the crossover knob on the subwoofer to 140 Hz and switched Low Pass Filter to "Out", I had that on "In" before. Thanks again for all this info. It looks like my receiver does crossover for everything with that crossover section. So 100Hz is good?
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 09:45 PM
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Ok looks like I misunderstood the Crossover section in the speaker menu, it actually is the crossover for the subwoofer, here is what it says from the manual.

There is another menu where you adjust or set the "Speaker Size". If you select "small" it also uses the above crossover frequency mentioned above for the other speakers as well. So I guess the crossover is both from the subwoofer and the speakers.
Oh, yeah - speakers should definitely be set to small, then set the subwoofer "crossover" (aka LFE) to 120Hz if that opens up that option.

Yes, I would say 100Hz crossover for your speakers is fine. If it's possible to set it by speaker type (i.e. fronts, centre, surrounds), you can probably go a bit lower for the front left/right at 90Hz, and a bit higher for the surrounds at 120Hz if you want.

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post #8 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, yeah - speakers should definitely be set to small, then set the subwoofer "crossover" (aka LFE) to 120Hz if that opens up that option.

Yes, I would say 100Hz crossover for your speakers is fine. If it's possible to set it by speaker type (i.e. fronts, centre, surrounds), you can probably go a bit lower for the front left/right at 90Hz, and a bit higher for the surrounds at 120Hz if you want.
The Crossover menu is for both the sub and the speakers so it looks like I am indeed setting a master crossover for everything. I was messing around with the crossover setting in the receiver menu and loved all the lower settings, just getting low end from the speakers sounded nicer, warmer, just better idk. When I set the crossover higher like 100-120 it almost sounds like everything is "detached" if that makes sense. Not cohesive sounding. I wish I could set my rear surrounds at 120 Hz and my fronts at 80 Hz that would be awesome.

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 10:23 PM
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The Crossover menu is for both the sub and the speakers so it looks like I am indeed setting a master crossover for everything. I was messing around with the crossover setting in the receiver menu and loved all the lower settings, just getting low end from the speakers sounded nicer, warmer, just better idk. When I set the crossover higher like 100-120 it almost sounds like everything is "detached" if that makes sense. Not cohesive sounding. I wish I could set my rear surrounds at 120 Hz and my fronts at 80 Hz that would be awesome.
I misunderstood, then.

If you go lower, I truly wouldn't go any lower than 80Hz. With the speakers set to small, the receiver sends anything lower than 80Hz (or whatever you've set as your crossover) to the subwoofer. One thing to note, though, is that the crossover isn't a wall. Your speakers will still play frequencies lower than the crossover setting, those frequencies just get less audible coming from the speakers the further away from the crossover point it gets.

The idea is to let the subwoofer handle the grunt work of playing the lower frequencies. What this does, in turn, is allow your speaker to play cleaner, clearer, and louder because they aren't having to work as hard.

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post #10 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I misunderstood, then.

If you go lower, I truly wouldn't go any lower than 80Hz. With the speakers set to small, the receiver sends anything lower than 80Hz (or whatever you've set as your crossover) to the subwoofer. One thing to note, though, is that the crossover isn't a wall. Your speakers will still play frequencies lower than the crossover setting, those frequencies just get less audible coming from the speakers the further away from the crossover point it gets.

The idea is to let the subwoofer handle the grunt work of playing the lower frequencies. What this does, in turn, is allow your speaker to play cleaner, clearer, and louder because they aren't having to work as hard.
I see... Ok. I totally thought it was a hard cutoff with the crossover. I'll mess around with different settings, I have it at 120 Hz now watching a show now, it actually doesn't sound too bad maybe I was exaggerating. I'll try 80 Hz 90 Hz and 100 Hz for Westworld and see what sounds best.

I wonder if I have these calibrated properly, the calibration menu just asked for distances for the speakers but not the subwoofer. I took some pretty accurate measurements with a measuring tape though so I think I should be close. Thanks again for the help!

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post #11 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 10:47 PM
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I see... Ok. I totally thought it was a hard cutoff with the crossover. I'll mess around with different settings, I have it at 120 Hz now watching a show now, it actually doesn't sound too bad maybe I was exaggerating. I'll try 80 Hz 90 Hz and 100 Hz for Westworld and see what sounds best.

I wonder if I have these calibrated properly, the calibration menu just asked for distances for the speakers but not the subwoofer. I took some pretty accurate measurements with a measuring tape though so I think I should be close. Thanks again for the help!
Hopefully I haven't steered you wrong! Whatever crossover setting you fall on, the only thing that matters is if it sounds good to you.

Strange that it has distance measurements for the speakers, but not the subwoofer. Does that receiver have any kind of room calibration software?

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post #12 of 24 Old 04-05-2020, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hopefully I haven't steered you wrong! Whatever crossover setting you fall on, the only thing that matters is if it sounds good to you.

Strange that it has distance measurements for the speakers, but not the subwoofer. Does that receiver have any kind of room calibration software?
No room calibration software unfortunately. This is an older receiver that was a high quality receiver back in the early 2000's, I basically put my entire system together on a serious budget so it's all older stuff but still sounds pretty decent. So you enter the distances of each speaker and it calibrates the delay. There's another menu where you adjust speaker volume of each individual speaker so the volumes all sound the same or close, I just did that as well. Here are the pages from the manual..

I ended up settling on a Crossover of 100Hz for the speakers and subwoofer.
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No room calibration software unfortunately. This is an older receiver that was a high quality receiver back in the early 2000's, I basically put my entire system together on a serious budget so it's all older stuff but still sounds pretty decent. So you enter the distances of each speaker and it calibrates the delay. There's another menu where you adjust speaker volume of each individual speaker so the volumes all sound the same or close, I just did that as well. Here are the pages from the manual..

I ended up settling on a Crossover of 100Hz for the speakers and subwoofer.
For the second image regarding the level calibration, what was your reference target when you adjusted that setting? 75dB tends to be the number everyone aims for - Audyssey, in particular, uses 75dB as its reference target when it calibrates the speaker trim levels.

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post #14 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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For the second image regarding the level calibration, what was your reference target when you adjusted that setting? 75dB tends to be the number everyone aims for - Audyssey, in particular, uses 75dB as its reference target when it calibrated the speaker trim levels.
Well my friend... once again you have changed everything LOL! The receiver just sends a white noise tone and I left them all at 0db and adjusted the louder ones down a few db to match. Just kind of guesstimated by ear. I just downloaded a free iphone db meter app and adjusted all the speakers again hahaha. Average around 75db as you mentioned Audyssey uses. Thank you for this info! I'm sure the iPhone app isn't too accurate since it's using the iPhone speakers but better to see it visibly than guessing by ear!

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Well my friend... once again you have changed everything LOL! The receiver just sends a white noise tone and I left them all at 0db and adjusted the louder ones down a few db to match. Just kind of guesstimated by ear. I just downloaded a free iphone db meter app and adjusted all the speakers again hahaha. Average around 75db as you mentioned Audyssey uses. Thank you for this info! I'm sure the iPhone app isn't too accurate since it's using the iPhone speakers but better to see it visibly than guessing by ear!
Phone apps aren't the most accurate, true, but good enough if you're not too particular. I don't have a dedicated SPL meter, either. I just use the free NIOSH app on my iPhone, and it does the job well enough for me.

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Phone apps aren't the most accurate, true, but good enough if you're not too particular. I don't have a dedicated SPL meter, either. I just use the free NIOSH app on my iPhone, and it does the job well enough for me.
I used Decibel X the free version but I just download NIOSH app as well. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow! My neighbors already complained earlier when I dropped my crossover to 60 Hz and played some music lol.

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I used Decibel X the free version but I just download NIOSH app as well. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow! My neighbors already complained earlier when I dropped my crossover to 60 Hz and played some music lol.
Any one is fine if you are able to set it to C Weighting, and Slow (which NIOSH allows).

I think Bass frequencies will travel regardless of whether the crossover is set to 60Hz or 100Hz - what's the building construction? Might just mean keeping the volume down a bit

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post #18 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Any one is fine if you are able to set it to C Weighting, and Slow (which NIOSH allows).

I think Bass frequencies will travel regardless of whether the crossover is set to 60Hz or 100Hz - what's the building construction? Might just mean keeping the volume down a bit
Ok just did NIOSH with "C" rating and "slow" setting and got as close to 75db as possible.

The sub would not work for some reason, I switch it to "on" on the back instead of "auto" and there just wasn't a test tone. I'm not sure why. Edit: I have one subwoofer cable plugged in. Do I need 2 subwoofer cables for left and right? I just have one plugged into the left side of the subwoofer and the receiver "center sub" channel.

Regarding building construction... I'm not sure but the walls must be pretty thin because both neighbors have complained now and I'm not even close to being loud. Usually complaints when I'm playing music, and once during the Daft Punk scene in TRON. Lot's of sub frequencies. I want to enjoy some tv in my home without people complaining, and hell what if I do want to watch a loud movie every now and then, I never get to do that. I may need to figure out some sound proofing techniques or something because the walls seem to be super super thin.

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post #19 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok just did NIOSH with "C" rating and "slow" setting and got as close to 75db as possible.

The sub would not work for some reason, I switch it to "on" on the back instead of "auto" and there just wasn't a test tone. I'm not sure why. Edit: I have one subwoofer cable plugged in. Do I need 2 subwoofer cables for left and right? I just have one plugged into the left side of the subwoofer and the receiver "center sub" channel.

Regarding building construction... I'm not sure but the walls must be pretty thing because both neighbors have complained now and I'm not even close to being loud. Usually complaints when I'm playing music, and once during the Daft Punk scene in TRON. Lot's of sub frequencies. I want to enjoy some tv in my home without people complaining, and hell what if I do want to watch a loud movie every now and then, I never get to do that. I may need to figure out some sound proofing techniques or something because the walls seem to be super super thin.
Update, my subwoofer was plugged into "center" and not "sub1" on my receiver. Wow I've pretty much been doing everything wrong hahahaha. I thought "center" on my receiver meant "center sub1" then "sub2" and "sub3" how confusing. So I just moved the RCA to the red bottom one titled "sub1" and it sends a test tone now. So this whole time I've been sending center signal sub frequencies to the sub?? What else am I doing wrong hahaha. Am I also supposed to calibrate the subwoofer signal to 75db?
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 02:35 PM
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Regarding building construction... I'm not sure but the walls must be pretty thin because both neighbors have complained now and I'm not even close to being loud. Usually complaints when I'm playing music, and once during the Daft Punk scene in TRON. Lot's of sub frequencies. I want to enjoy some tv in my home without people complaining, and hell what if I do want to watch a loud movie every now and then, I never get to do that. I may need to figure out some sound proofing techniques or something because the walls seem to be super super thin.
That could very well just be the case - and without actually hearing what's going on in their spaces, it's difficult to say whether they're just being unreasonable. Some people will just complain at the slightest noise because they aren't taking into consideration that they're in a multi-unit space, and some noise is to be expected from time to time. I say as long as you're within your area's bylaws or building's rules regarding noise, they have no moral ground to stand on or right to complain, and are just being overly complain-y.

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Update, my subwoofer was plugged into "center" and not "sub1" on my receiver. Wow I've pretty much been doing everything wrong hahahaha. I thought "center" on my receiver meant "center sub1" then "sub2" and "sub3" how confusing. So I just moved the RCA to the red bottom one titled "sub1" and it sends a test tone now. So this whole time I've been sending center signal sub frequencies to the sub?? What else am I doing wrong hahaha. Am I also supposed to calibrate the subwoofer signal to 75db?
Yes, adjust the trim of the subwoofer down to measure ~75dB as well. What is the volume/gain knob set to on the sub now? If you're concerned about people complaining, turning that down a bit might mitigate some of those complaints. Before I had Audyssey, I had my sub's gain/volume knob at the 9 o'clock position (only the second notch), when I got an AVR with Audyssey, it had me turn the gain knob down to right around the 7:30-8 o'clock mark (just barely above the minimum notch). I think you'd be surprised how little gain/volume is required on the sub.

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post #21 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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That could very well just be the case - and without actually hearing what's going on in their spaces, it's difficult to say whether they're just being unreasonable. Some people will just complain at the slightest noise because they aren't taking into consideration that they're in a multi-unit space, and some noise is to be expected from time to time. I say as long as you're within your area's bylaws or building's rules regarding noise, they have no moral ground to stand on or right to complain, and are just being overly complain-y.
Well... next door neighbors apparently work during the day until 5pm. Upstairs neighbors sleep early around 9pm. So that leaves me between 5pm-9pm to watch tv I guess? It's ridiculous honestly. I'm the new one here so I'm not sure if they are just being complain-y or if it's really that loud. Either way, I'm not here to piss people off so I'm actively looking for ways to mitigate low end frequencies from traveling through the walls at this point. I watched some YouTube vids on sound proofing and they suggested filling a room with furniture would help. Also thicker wool drapes would help too but I don't if my apartment will allow me to alter the current installed vertical plastic blinds. I still need to buy a sofa (I just have some side chairs right now) so I'm sure that will help soak some lower frequencies up. I also angle'd the sub towards the listening position instead of pointing straight back and brought in some racks of clothing for the time being to soak up the sound as well.


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Yes, adjust the trim of the subwoofer down to measure ~75dB as well. What is the volume/gain knob set to on the sub now? If you're concerned about people complaining, turning that down a bit might mitigate some of those complaints. Before I had Audyssey, I had my sub's gain/volume knob at the 9 o'clock position (only the second notch), when I got an AVR with Audyssey, it had me turn the gain knob down to right around the 7:30-8 o'clock mark (just barely above the minimum notch). I think you'd be surprised how little gain/volume is required on the sub.
I have the sub volume set at midnight for calibrating then I'll probably have to bring it down a bit, maybe 9 o'clock or lower as you suggested.

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post #22 of 24 Old 04-06-2020, 06:32 PM
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Well... next door neighbors apparently work during the day until 5pm. Upstairs neighbors sleep early around 9pm. So that leaves me between 5pm-9pm to watch tv I guess? It's ridiculous honestly. I'm the new one here so I'm not sure if they are just being complain-y or if it's really that loud. Either way, I'm not here to piss people off so I'm actively looking for ways to mitigate low end frequencies from traveling through the walls at this point. I watched some YouTube vids on sound proofing and they suggested filling a room with furniture would help. Also thicker wool drapes would help too but I don't if my apartment will allow me to alter the current installed vertical plastic blinds. I still need to buy a sofa (I just have some side chairs right now) so I'm sure that will help soak some lower frequencies up. I also angle'd the sub towards the listening position instead of pointing straight back and brought in some racks of clothing for the time being to soak up the sound as well.
That's too short of a window, honestly. Plus, you shouldn't be beholden to your neighbour's work schedules if they are working from home (especially right now). I get that you're not there to upset anyone, but they could very well be nit-picking (which is the case 99.9% of the time). It irritates me to no end whenever people complain about noise when all you're doing is living your life. There's a give and take in a (more or less) shared living space, and some people just don't get that. I've literally had a neighbour complain about noise to us when we weren't even awake at the time she claimed the noise was occurring. People expecting dead silence in an apartment building shouldn't be living in an apartment building.

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I have the sub volume set at midnight for calibrating then I'll probably have to bring it down a bit, maybe 9 o'clock or lower as you suggested.
Turning down the sub gain will more than likely reduce the complaints. If they still complain, then just turn the master volume level when you're watching movies/listening to music. If they still complain after that, well you can probably throw the bylaws in their faces or invoice them each for a pair of ear plugs, and explain that you're figuring out ways to mitigate sound from travelling into their units. They're not your roommates, so they legally have no right to tell you how to live in your own space.

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post #23 of 24 Old 04-09-2020, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
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That's too short of a window, honestly. Plus, you shouldn't be beholden to your neighbour's work schedules if they are working from home (especially right now). I get that you're not there to upset anyone, but they could very well be nit-picking (which is the case 99.9% of the time). It irritates me to no end whenever people complain about noise when all you're doing is living your life. There's a give and take in a (more or less) shared living space, and some people just don't get that. I've literally had a neighbour complain about noise to us when we weren't even awake at the time she claimed the noise was occurring. People expecting dead silence in an apartment building shouldn't be living in an apartment building.



Turning down the sub gain will more than likely reduce the complaints. If they still complain, then just turn the master volume level when you're watching movies/listening to music. If they still complain after that, well you can probably throw the bylaws in their faces or invoice them each for a pair of ear plugs, and explain that you're figuring out ways to mitigate sound from travelling into their units. They're not your roommates, so they legally have no right to tell you how to live in your own space.
Amen.

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post #24 of 24 Old 04-09-2020, 11:07 AM
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Amen.
It's just irritating when people demand that you abide by their schedules like they have a say in how you live your life. You could tell them "No knocking on my door from midnight - 11:59:59pm, please. I have work to do."

In all seriousness, my best guess is that they're hearing thumping from the sub, so turning that down alone would probably solve your neighbour problem.

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